LONG ISLAND NEWSDAY
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Unless you've been living in Davy Jones' locker for the past six years, you'll know the answer is SpongeBob SquarePants, the most popular invertebrate on television. And if new nautical nonsense is something you wish after endless reruns from the first three seasons, Nickelodeon is ready to oblige with a wave of 20 premiere "SpongeBob" episodes Friday nights beginning May 6.
And fans, as well as Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob and his pet snail, Gary, couldn't be more excited than if they'd learned the Krabby Patty secret formula. In particular, Kenny says, it's the really big kids who've had enough of the reruns. "Kids were happy watching them for the 3,000th time. It was the parents who've been busting my chops for new episodes," he says.
In case Spongeheads are worried about anything ridiculous like character growth this season, Kenny promises it will be "the same show, the same sponge" -- in other words, the same craziness. First up are "Fear of a Krabby Patty," wherein SpongeBob's exhaustion after working 24-hour shifts for 43 straight days leads to patty phobia, and "Shell of a Man," in which SpongeBob has to pose as his boss, Mr. Krabs, at the latter's reunion with his Navy buddies. His uniform: Krabs' molted shell.